Adults

Excuses, Excuses

Every day God gives us opportunities to share His love with people around us. But how often do we walk right past these open doors? If you are anything like me, then you have a million reasons for missing these opportunities that you wrap up in pretty little packages with bows on top.

But in the end, these fancy explanations are just excuses. We have to recognize them for what they are and learn to overcome them.

Here are some common excuses I recognize in my life:

Pride

What will people think about me if I share the gospel with them? Will it be awkward? What if they reject me?

Well, it turns out these are all the wrong questions. My natural tendency is to focus on how I am affected by an interaction rather than thinking about how God can be glorified through it. In these situations, I am continually reminded to shift my focus to God.

Showing Love by Sharing the Gospel

Raising a 2-year-old toddler has raised quite a lot of parenting discussions in our home.

Two-year-olds need a lot of guidance for life. They need a lot of patience from their parents. And they need a lot of love and comfort to know they are secure.

We will teach our girl many things as she grows in our home over the next 16 years until we send her out.

But what if I failed to tell her that we love her? What if I skipped over teaching her a basic concept like brushing her teeth? What would happen if I never shared with her how to eat properly and healthily, how to be kind to others, or how to take care of herself?

Many would question my love for her. Raising children means loving them. Loving them means teaching them fully how to live.

Sharing the gospel with others is not much different.

Refugees Are Here: What Now?

You hear the news—refugees are being sent to your city. Hardly any time passes and it happens. “They” are really here. “They” start appearing in the grocery store, lining up to enroll their children in school, and sitting in the doctor’s waiting room with you.

Your mind races. Is the vetting process enough to protect our citizens? What if “they” are really terrorists? What if “they” have illnesses your children or grandchildren can catch? It’s easy to panic. But what we really need to ask is, who are “they” anyway?

Who are they?

They are people. They are people who’ve been displaced from countries in distress. They are mothers, fathers, widows, widowers, grandparents, and innocent children. While we might carry concerns for what they’re capable of, we need to consider how they are feeling—frightened, alone, bewildered, and sad.

Discover their background.

After refugees arrive, conduct some research to learn where they are coming from. What is their homeland like? What trauma have they been exposed to? What are the cultural norms?

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God’s Love Flows Through

February is the month of love. How are you experiencing God’s love right now?

Friends  Family   Prayer  Scripture   Church   Service   Community

Nature   Beauty   Sound  Music   Taste   Thoughts   Words   Story  Health

God’s love is expressed for us in so many ways. His love is deeper than we can fully know. God is love. What He does cannot be separated from Who He is.

But what about us? Has God’s love penetrated our hearts so deeply that it flows naturally out of every word? Every action? Perhaps focusing on God’s love to a greater extent will help us see ourselves in a different light and naturally affect everything we say and do. How can we be vessels of God’s love this month?

As we are filled with God’s love, we love others because He first loved us (1 John 4:19 NIV).

Share the Gospel in Assisted Living Facilities

“Hey, Bubba, how are you today?” I asked as I leaned over to kiss my husband.

He turned to look at me and nodded his head. A stroke had left him paralyzed on the left side, and he now relied on the assisted living facility’s nursing staff to care for him. Two pairs of socks and fresh fruit lay beneath the small Christmas tree I bought for his table. A Christmas card pinned to the bulletin board offered greetings and reminded us of Christ’s birth.

How wonderful to know that residents who don’t have visitors would not only hear the Christmas story from volunteers but also receive gifts in honor of Christ’s birth.

Have you ever considered volunteering? Here’s how you and your missions group can start sharing the gospel with assisted living residents:

Communicating the Gospel to Women in Mill City

Missionary Sarah Landry has been serving for 6 years in Mill City, better known by most as Lowell, Massachusetts. The city’s nickname comes from its influential place in Industrial Revolution history. Landry works among the city’s college students at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and with women of all ages through Mill City Church.

Discipleship is the central part of Landry’s work. “I spend much of my time meeting one-on-one or in small groups, sharing the gospel, and mentoring college students and young women in the local church,” she explained. This requires building relationships with women who might be very different from her. It also requires time. “These relationships are a long-term investment, especially in New England, where it can take time to gain a foothold for the gospel to be heard,” she said.

Missionary Spotlight Update: Bronson and Anna Parker*

“I made one trip to Gate-Town to do a training,” Bronson Parker shared. “All went well, but we received notice that I am not allowed to travel on the river to any of the communities.” Because Marcus*—president of the association in Gate-Town—remains in power, little has changed in the modern-day Wild West atmosphere of the Amazon Basin.

Losing his only source of income, Pedro* was forced to quit his teaching job. “But God is good and is providing for Pedro,” Parker said. “He and his family came to live with us for 3 months. We were able to disciple them further in the faith.”

Since then, Pedro has started 3 weekly ministries: a children’s ministry in Gate-Town; a discipleship group with 2 families in Gate-Town, who are forming into a church; and a ministry with the lost in his home village, Village 7, where he has been sharing Bible stories. “Many are listening, and we believe some will come into the kingdom soon,” Parker reported.

Happy New Year Book!

It’s that time again—time to start planning for the new year. The new year in WMU, that is.

When you think about planning for WMU, the WMU Year Book most likely springs to mind. For years, it has been the annual planning resource for church WMU leaders. It outlines the WMU emphasis, provides monthly plans for each WMU age-level organization, and highlights ways to be involved in WMU ministries. Still, you may have found it, well, incomplete.

In order to do more detailed planning each quarter, you have needed a subscription to Missions Leader. The quarterly kit provides implementation ideas for the emphases on the Southern Baptist Convention’s calendar, along with leadership tools and color posters.

Complicated, isn’t it?

Not anymore. WMU has put everything you need to plan for a successful year of missions education and involvement in one resource. And all those other helpful things like posters? Throughout the year, supplemental materials will be posted as exclusive digital content on wmu.com.

The Thread of the Gospel

Quilting runs in our family. Our girls will inherit quilts made by their great-great-grandparents, which I tend to think is a neat concept. An old quilt can somehow make a person feel right at home. Through the years, the fabric gets soft but the threads hold together. Each piece was sewn together uniquely by hand or machine—using fabric our grandparents and great-grandparents probably had as scraps from an old dress or shirt. A quality quilt will last for generations.

In the same regard, sharing our story of how the gospel has affected our lives has been passed down to us from someone else and is a unique story we share with others.

Second Peter 1:3 gives us assurance that “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”

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